Mescal Mescal, Arizona, located 35 to 40 miles east southeast from Tucson, Arizona, near the town of Benson, is the home of Old Tucson's second western movie town location, situated on 60 acres of land which is leased from the Arizona State Land Department. An additional 2,400 acres of state-owned grazing land surrounds the site.

The town was erected for the 1969 motion picture Monte Walsh starring Lee Marvin. Old Tucson purchased the site from the CBS network after the completion of filming on the movie.

"We had been quibbling over a $1,000 difference in the price and had finally decided to flip a coin to settle it," said Old Tucson founder Robert Shelton. "It wasn't five minutes later that the restaurant received a call and the employee verified that I was Mescal's new owner and consequently then told me that the sets had been blown down by a wind storm." (Old Tucson Studios Hitching Post, Summer 1992, Vol. 7 No. 3).

Mescal has appeared in Dirty Dingus Magee, The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean and Tom Horn, along with approximately 50 television, motion picture and other productions.

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer invested over $200,000 into the sets in 1991 for the third season of the television series The Young Riders by adding new store fronts, second stories to existing buildings, and erecting new buildings. In 1992 the town had 32 buildings which included a schoolhouse, a bank, hotel, church, jail, two-story homes, isolated ranch house, stage station, and saloon.

At the time the above was written, Mescal was not open to the general public. However, I have been informed that it is now open to the public when there is no filming.

All of the above photographs are used by permission of Old Tucson Studios and are copyrighted by them.

The following photographs have been submitted by a reader of this web page and are used by her permission.

The above two photographs are from "Desperado".

What remains at the end of the movie "The Quick and the Dead".

For more recent photos of the ranch, visit the Tucson Film Commission web page.


"Monte Walsh" (Landers-Roberts Productions/Cinema Center Films/National General 1969). Directed by: William A. Fraker. Cast: Lee Marvin, Jack Palance, Mitch Ryan, Jim Davis, Bo Hopkins.

"Dirty Dingus Magee" (MGM 1970). Directed by: Burt Kennedy. Cast: Frank Sinatra, George Kennedy, Anne Jackson, Lois Nettleton, Jack Elam, Harry Carey Jr.

"The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean" (First Artists/Coleytown Prods. 1972). Directed by: John Huston. Cast: Paul Newman, Ava Gardner, Jacqueline Bissett, Anthony Perkins, Stacy Keach, Tab Hunter.

"The Hanged Man" (Bing Crosby Productions 1974). Directed by: Mike Caffey. Cast: Steve Forrest, Cameron Mitchell, Dean Jagger.

"The Outlaw-Josey Wales" (Warner Brothers 1976). Directed by: Clint Eastwood. Cast: Clint Eastwood, Chief Dan George, Sondra Locke, Sam Bottoms, Joyce Jameson.

"The Buffalo Soldiers" (MGM 1979). Directed by: C. Cermak. Cast: John Beck, Stan Shaw, Raymond St. Jacques.

"Frisco Kid" (Warner Brothers 1979). Directed by: Robert Aldrich. Cast: Gene Wilder, Harrison Ford.

"Timemaster" (Liberty Bell Productions 1994) starring Pat Moriata and Joanna Pacula.

"Desperado" episodes 5 and 6, starring Alex McAuthur.